People have started returning to the idea of buying American-made products, with almost 80 percent of Americans preferring America-made items and willing to actually pay a bit more for these products. Approximately 97 percent of all clothing is made overseas, however, making it difficult sometimes to find American-made clothing. The extra effort and money spent to purchase this type of clothing may be worth it.
Here are some of the main benefits of purchasing American-made clothing, as well as some things to take into consideration before purchasing.
The more people who purchase products manufactured in the USA, the greater the likelihood of more companies once again manufacturing things in the U.S. This creates jobs and a greater tax income for the country, helping to decrease unemployment and provide benefits to Americans, including Social Security. It helps decrease the trade deficit with other countries as well, which will help improve the economic growth of the country.
Products carrying a "Made in the USA" label may be better for the environment. They don't have to travel as far, so they have a lower carbon footprint. There's ready access to recycled material to make products that are at least partly recycled, and the United States' more stringent environmental regulations mean the manufacturing process will cause less water, air and soil pollution.
Human Rights Benefits
Clothing made in developing countries with minimal regulations may be cheaper, but it may also come at the cost of human lives. Workers often have to deal with sweatshop conditions and unsafe buildings. While this isn't always the case, it's a good idea to reward companies who treat their workers properly by patronizing them. The labor laws in the U.S. minimize the risks of unsafe working conditions.
Decrease in Dependence
Supporting American manufacturing helps decrease the dependence on other countries. The availability of items made in the USA isn't as likely to be affected by political problems with other countries. This helps ensure you'll be able to buy these products in the future.
Being made in the USA doesn't guarantee clothing is high quality. Clothing made in other countries may be of higher quality in some cases. Because of the lack of clothing manufacturing in the U.S. in recent years, there's a lack of skilled labor, which can cause quality to suffer.
However, some American companies have started stepping up to the plate. When purchasing your American-made products, make sure to inspect the fabric, the stitching and the overall construction of the garment to determine whether it's a quality garment.
As manufacturing rules and costs increase in other countries, American-made goods are becoming more competitive with those made overseas. This means the price difference isn't as large as it used to be, and American-made clothing is becoming more affordable, especially when compared to items of similar quality.
Company Behavior Considerations
American companies know that many consumers prefer to buy from socially-responsible companies that give back to the community. Americans want workers to be treated well, the environment to be protected, and the company to support charities and help out when there's a local disaster. This sometimes is more important than the source of their products or the price of these products.
For these reasons, the same companies that make their products in the USA are also conscious of the effect of their actions on their employees, their community, and the environment. When you purchase from them, you are indirectly helping out with all of these things as well.
Not all companies label their products that were made in the USA, and some products may be only mostly made in the USA using products that also only mostly come from the USA, which means they can only use qualified claims. Some products may be "assembled" or "designed" in America, which may mean they were at least partially manufactured in other countries.
For clothing and accessories that are 100 percent made in the USA, check out the products at Over Under.